Aspirational Futures Fair
As part of our Futures Programme, pupils were introduced to a range of different pathways at a buzzing careers fair.
Pupils in Year 7 and 8 spent the afternoon exploring unusual roles, learning about careers including Molecular Gastronomy and Covert Technical Operations. Students from partner schools joined our pupils from Year 9 and above for an afternoon of talks, covering opportunities such as project management, ethical hacking, sustainable investing and journalism; they also visited stalls hosted by film production companies, accountancy firms, and representatives from the creative and tech industries.
The Aspirational Futures Fair culminated in a panel discussion, chaired by Mrs Bingham, with three successful women from our own South Hampstead community. The panellists – Emma Codd (Partner and Global Inclusion Leader at Deloitte), alumna Sophie Penney (Reuters Sports Producer), and Almudena Sevilla (LSE Professor of Economics and Public Policy) – addressed a packed Waterlow Hall on the topic of how to thrive in male-dominated industries.
The speakers shared their views on ways to encourage workplaces to be less male-centric, covering inclusive interview processes, shared parental leave, periods and the menopause, and the portrayal of women in the media. They spoke with candour about their personal experiences, as well as the strides that continue to be made to drive change, including gender pay gap reporting and access to inspiring mentors.
Almudena Sevilla spoke about the challenges encountered in academia and as an economist: “Economics is usually associated with power and money, which are not attributes usually associated with women.” Emma Codd reminded the girls that: “It’s the workplace not women that need fixing… the first step is to admit that the structures in place are broken; that’s when change can happen.” Sophie Penney added: “You don’t need to fit in or be liked – it’s more important to be yourself.” Mrs Bingham thanked the speakers for helping to lead the way and praised South Hampstead pupils for speaking up. “Your voice is a very powerful thing – I encourage you to keep using it.”